Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Music of the Bible

You will perhaps have noticed that I have started to annotate my translations with the music I have performed all my life. One reason perhaps why the music of the te'amim was lost was to allow the flowering of the music of the Gentiles, surely a marvelous result.
The video above is the same theoretical reconstruction of music as we heard together with the music of Tallis and several other composers to the present day at an evening 45 minute presentation in the chapel at Worcester College Oxford, Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 5:45 pm.

Here is one example of a performance of psalm 137 and another of psalm 148. There are several more online. See also here for more on the music after reading some of SHV's book.

Above: The inside of the Worcester Chapel
Left: the ceiling
 - from the album 2010-09-21

וּפְדוּיֵי יְהוָה יְשֻׁבוּן
and the ransomed of יְהוָה will return
וּבָאוּ צִיֹּון בְּרִנָּה
and come to Zion 
 with a joyful ringing cry (songs)
וְשִׂמְחַת עֹולָם עַל־רֹאשָׁם
and gladness everlasting on their heads
שָׂשֹׂון וְשִׂמְחָה יַשִּׂיגוּ
joy and gladness they will take hold of
וְנָסוּ יָגֹון וַאֲנָחָֽה
and take flight will grief and groaning
Sorrow and sighing are fine too - but I sometimes render sighing for nacham (comfort or repent - esp. of God). Grief and groaning are not a good combo since in this case there is no alliteration in the Hebrew. To avoid alliteration in this case, perhaps sorrow and groaning might be preferable.